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Fernie councillors question hosting AKBLG

In the wake of the tragedy at the Fernie memorial arena some members of council shared concerns about the city’s staffing capacity to host the conference for the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments.

The council has a specific committee formed to plan the April event, which they agreed to host months ago.

“Nothing has changed,” said Mayor Mary Giuliano, to councillor Jon Levesque, after he asked on Monday night whether the City should still be hosting the conference.

She said that despite losing two valued staff members in the incident, the group planning the conference is widely volunteer based and prepared to take on the task.

“We are not quitters,” she said, explaining that it would reflect poorly on the city to call off the conference in Fernie, leaving another municipality scrambling to host it last minute.

City CAO Norm McInnis has resigned from his position on the AKBLG planning committee in light of the recent events, stating he doesn’t know what the next two months will look like for him and cannot make the time commitment.

Coun. Ange Qualizza said that another AKBLG member, extended an olive branch to Fernie, saying that it would be understandable under the circumstances if they elected not to host the AKBLG. The mayor remained steadfast that the conference should be held in Fernie.

AKBLG is scheduled for April 18 to 20, 2018.

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